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Full Metal Jacket
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Full Metal Jacket More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

an analysis

Author: citizenchris from United States
3 April 2004

Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece of the dregs of warfare "Full Metal Jacket" is often thought of as two films. This is easy to understand when one considers the films rather unconventional structure. You see most commercials films (as apposed to say "art house" fare) are divided into three acts. In the first act the dramatic conflict is introduced, in act two the challenge of the conflict is met by the protagonist, and finally in act three the conflict is resolved. Not so in FMJ, for you see this film is two act that don't quit "jell" in such a nice and neat way. Act one depicts life in marine boot camp. This being the act that the film is most widely know for. The second act is where things stray from the norm. You see act two only contains two characters from act one. One being the narrator/ protagonist the other a rather small secondary character. The acts don't flow together in the previously mentioned three act manor. In act one we see "Pile" mis-treated while "Joker" tries to help him conform to the marine ways. "Pile" goes on to commit a murder suicide by killing his drill instructor and subsequently himself. Then on to act two we see Joker is now "in-country" as a correspondent. The only real tie to the first act is when he runs across a buddy from boot camp. Each act is treated like its only miniature movie. Act one being the most popular and two like a weird sequel. FMJ not only lacks a third act but also cohesive dramatic conflict. In act one the conflict might be seen as boot camp life and the protagonist could be "Pile". But "Pile" is obviously not in act two. One might find traditional conflict in act two but they would be mistaken for there is none. So what is the point of all of this you might ask.. Well you see what most screenwriters and Hollywood filmmakers forget is that there is no cohesive dramatic conflict in life. In life as in FMJ S&^% happens and all we can do is react and observe. And that's exactly what Kubrick wants. He wants to show us something and upon seeing this he wants a reaction. So what is he showing us? In act one he is clearly showing us the dehumanizing nature of creating a "good marine". And no this is not just a fictional depiction. Its a lot closer to reality than you might realize. You see the actor portraying the drill segment Lee Ermey served in the Marine Corps for 30 months as a guessed it drill instructor. Much of his now famous dialogue were his own words. All you have to do is talk to a marine about FMJ and they will tell you that's how it was. The question is how do you a an audience member react to this display. In act two we are given a more "traditional" war film. Though unlike most Vietnam films FMJ second act takes place in decaying urban sectors as apposed to the thick jungles of "Platoon" or "Apocalypse Now". It doesn't try to get you into anyone's head. Show you how this experience is changing the character. Kubrick is more interested in the audience. In the "Vietnam the movie" sequence soldiers are asked what they think about he war. There is none of your John Wayne hallmark patriotic propaganda.

"Do you think we waits gooks for freedom? This is a slaughter." -Animal Mother "I wanted to see Vietnam, the jewel of south East Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of a ancient culture and kill them" -Joker FMJ is based on Gustav Hasford's novel "The Short Timers". The book was a first for the for the marine and military war correspondent who served in the Vietnam war. Early versions of the novel were developed while Hasford was still serving in the war. Many of the novels central characters were named after pals he served with. Kubrick and Hasford had extensive phone conversations (Kubrick's often preferred manor of collaboration) over the script to what would eventually become Full Metal Jacket. A title Kubrick chose due to "The Short Timers" lack of mass popularity. Kubricks other collaborator was Michael Herr. Who has previously worked with Francis For Copola on the previously mentioned "Apocalypse Now" .

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's a funny and serious movie at the same time

Author: ( from Escalon, California
16 March 2004

Full Metal Jacket is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. I can watch it over and over again and not get bored of it. "Is that you John Wayne, is this me" Most of the characters are not major movie stars but the way they made the movie makes forget about it. The comedy in this movie from Sargent Hartman names his privates to the scene with Private Joker and Animal Mother. "Well pilgrim only after you eat the peanuts out of my......" you know. Also the Vietnam ladies with those weird jobs. There are many good parts to this movie. If you are planning to see a classic movie sometime, run to the movie store and pick up Full Metal Jacket or just buy it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unforgettable sights & smells

Author: CrawlingEye from Miami, USA
31 January 2004

No matter how well a movie is made, there are certain things that I remember about Viet Nam that can never be brought to the people that have never been in war. All the war movies that I watched or all the training in Boot camp never prepared me for the fact that very few of the people, both us and them, that were killed in the jungle, were recovered in a timely fashion. The dead were left to rot until hostilities stopped. This usually was a long time, and the memories of what they looked liked and the smell, will never be forgotten. This to me brought home the real horror of what we where doing to them, and what they did to us. There are more descriptive memories I could write here, but this isn't the place.

S.J. Morales-Chandler Capt.U.S.A.F. Ret.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I can't hear you!

Author: sparky-76 from LA, CA, USA
13 September 2003

The only film which comes close to capturing what life was like for grunts in Vietnam--wait, that was Platoon! This film would be crap w/o the bootcamp scenes. But because they're in its great. Ermey deserved all of the awards he could carry for his Sgt. Hartman. He pulled off the near impossible--a character who is farcical and brutally realistic. The rest of the film was was the usual "oh boo hoo hoo, we're in Vietnam" claptrap put together by people who weren't there. The whole sniper scene is overwrought but, if you think about it, pointless (people shot at us? gosh she was a girl? c'mon). Kudos, though, for the seamy portrayal of the call girl scene. Papillon Soo was cheated out of her best supporting actress award (and deserves royalties from every 2LiveCrew album ever sold).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Most realistic of the Danang Area

Author: drdyer from Los Angeles, California
23 April 2003

This production was the closest I have seen to period I was stationed in the Danang Area. It reflected the discipline of the time, at least when I was there (65-66) I cannot speak for other regions of vietnam, or other services, however this is how it was during my experiences.

Stanley made another gem here.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One half of a great movie.

Author: fergusonchip from Washington, DC
14 November 2002

Do yourself a favor, after they leave boot camp turn the movie off. The actual battle scenes cover territory that is much more effectively covered elsewhere (e.g., "All Quiet on the Western Front"). The first half of the movie, however, ranks up there with the best of them. The drill sergeant in this movie puts Louis Gossett, Jr.'s character in "An Officer and a Gentleman" to shame.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How the bell sounds

Author: Rui Miguel Duarte from Lisbon, Portugal
14 November 2002

If this movie was about war, it might be seen as mediocre. That's perhaps why there are so many people deceived with the development of the story.

Full Metal Jacket is about the way the human soul reacts to warfare; The way we prepare men for it, the way we look at it, not only the way we suffer it but also the way we 'see' it. The films character 'Joker' is like the playing card with the same name: It changes 'ad hoc'. More than the anti-war person that he happens to be, 'Joker' is the distant observer of a phenomenon he doesn't regard as his own but one that he is progressively part of. This dynamic process, from the absent recruit to the compassionate executer of a girl warrior happens through the eyes of a camera, the scenario being the very 'ink' that paints blood black. That may be the main reason for the sequence of the second part of the film. Kubrik spares the spectator to an excessive exposure to the 'horrors' of war concentrating, rather, on the relationship of a conscious human, 'Joker', with the 'facts of war' as he becomes progressively familiar with them (that's why Joker is a journalist, not a nurse). Far from an unrealistic and static picture of war, the second part of the film is relatively stripped of action of men suffering war in order to expose war as an external phenomenon, through Joker's pictures. That's how Joker sees it in the begining of the second part. We have here a picture not of war itself, but the 'ways in war' of the type of warrior that went through the first part of the film and, eventually, survived and the critical observation made by Joker of their deeds. Note that if 'Joker' was pro-war character the film could be quite the same except for the feeling expressed by Joker himself regarding the killing of the Vietcong girl. Full Metal Jacket starts with a critical analysis of the distortion of human values by army training or, as one might see it, 'restraining' of the human being and ends with a reflection on the necessity and the inevitability of that distortion through the rendition of Joker's character.

The here is not 'Form whom the bell tolls', not even a remark (amongst many) that it does. Full Metal Jacket, a type of ammunition itself, is a look into the sound of the bell.

All in all, a masterpiece.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie, but far from the best war movie ever

Author: plsj from USA
15 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't think its even the best Vietnam Movie( Platoon is), but nonetheless, its still a good movie. R.Lee Ermey gives an oustanding performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. His performance is what carries the first half of this movie. The boot camp scenes are excellent. The Tet Offensive part is the weakest, but Matthew Modine turns in a good performance. The sniper scene at the end was very good. (SPOILERS) I never would have expected the sniper to be a young girl. Overall a good movie, it just ran kinda slow in some places. 7/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

More like a documentary then a movie.

Author: stupidones ( from Lincoln, NE USA
28 February 2002

Full Metal Jacket is a great film, loaded with unforgettable scenes.

Halfway into the movie, however, it seems like a second movie

begins instead of being the conclusion to the story (when Joker

goes to Vietnam.) The movie plays out to be a dramatic

documentary that continues regardless of the pain Joker

encounters on his journey in life.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Full metal jacket

Author: waemken ( from Beveren, Belgium
25 February 2002

This is a fantastic Stanley Kubric movie. He shows the hard world of the marines in America. One of the strong points is the strong story and even sometimes you have to laugh. My favorite scene is the one were they sing "This my rifle this is my gun, this is for killing this is for fun" you have to see the movements they make when they sing this song. It's one to watch believe me! greetings Bart

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